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50 Examples of Propaganda

 , June 27, 2018 updated on March 02, 2023
Propaganda is a manipulative attempt to influence a large audience. Propaganda is spread by communication that may include speeches, writing, visual symbols and media such film. It can also be spread by word of mouth and social media. The following are common examples of propaganda techniques.
Ad Hominem
Attacking an opponent’s character instead of their argument.
Appeal to Authority
Referencing an expert or institution in order to try to give your message authority and status.
Appeal to Common Sense
Suggesting that your position is obvious to everyone with any common sense.
Appeal to Ignorance
Arguing that something is true because it can’t be proven untrue.
Appeal to Patriotism
Suggesting that disagreeing with a policy means that you are against your country.
Apples & Oranges
Comparing things that aren’t comparable.
Association Fallacy
Associating two things that aren’t actually associated. For example, associating opposition to government policy with a conspiracy theory in order to discredit criticism.
Bait and Switch
Selling ideas with a rational argument that anyone could accept but then attaching controversial positions to this acceptance.
Black-and-White Thinking
Neglect of nuance and grey areas.
Card Stacking
Presenting only one side of a contentious argument, a hallmark of media or journalism that is propaganda.
Arousing the prejudices of the masses.
Portraying the other side as fundamentally bad.
Spreading false information.
Language that avoids the true meaning of a concept.
Dumbing Down
Presenting complex situations in overly simplistic ways.
Using mild words in a way that has harsh meaning.
Magnifying the truth to the point that it becomes untrue.
False Analogy
Invalid comparisons that are designed to mislead.
False Dichotomy
Pretending there are only two choices when in fact there are many. For example, “you are either with us or against us.”
False Equivalence
Pretending that two things are the same when they are very different.
False Relatability
Faking the mannerisms of the working class or middle class when you are in fact a member of an elite and don’t normally speak in this way.
Creating fear to have people accept things they wouldn’t otherwise accept.
Glittering Generalities
Positive but vague slogans.
Guilt by Association
Associating someone with a negative stereotype or membership in order to attack their character.
Hasty Generalization
Drawing conclusions based on limited evidence.
Taking both sides of a controversial issue.
Applying negative labels to the positions of the opposition.
Loaded Language
Language designed to invoke stereotypes or an emotional response.
Loaded Question
A question that contains an unjustified assumption or accusation. If you answer the question, it looks as if you have accepted the assumption.
Lying by Omission
Leaving out important facts that completely change a story.
Distracting people from big issues by using trivial issues that are nonetheless contentious.
Misleading Statistics
Invalid data or invalid interpretations of valid data.
Moral Panic
Exaggerated fear and concern over an issue. This may be leveraged or created by propaganda.
Not Even Wrong
A completely illogical argument that is difficult to refute.
Trying to confuse the facts.
Passive Deception
Not revealing facts that are completely relevant because they don’t support your case.
Finding logical excuses for something that is unacceptable.
Red Herring
An unrelated argument designed to distract.
Treating an abstract concept as if it were a concrete and unambiguous thing.
Repeating messages over and over again in hopes that people will internalize them.
Blaming some group for all problems.
Slippery Slope
Arguing that some small step will produce a landslide of change.
Slippery Words
Using language that implies things without saying them directly. A form of passive aggressive speech.
Straw Man Argument
Attacking an argument that your opponent never made.
Thought-terminating Cliche
Using cliche truisms in place of thought.
Useful Idiot
A person who spreads propaganda that is against their own best interests.
Virtue Signaling
Hollow support for popular causes designed to impress others.
Weasel Words
Using an anonymous authority such as “science”, “the experts agree” or “everyone knows” without any actual evidence.
Lazily suggesting that a wrong is fine because something else is also wrong.
Whispering Campaign
Spreading rumors.
Overview: Propaganda
A manipulative attempt to influence a large audience.
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about propaganda.
Anecdotal Evidence
Appeal To Authority
Apples & Oranges
Base Rate Fallacy
Big Brother
Conspiracy Fallacy
Culture Of Fear
Dumbing Down
False Analogy
False Balance
False Dichotomy
False Dilemma
False Equivalence
Glittering Generality
Institutional Influence
Loaded Question
Media Influence
Media Manipulation
Not Even Wrong
Overwhelming Exception
Political Influence
Political Strategy
Push Poll
Red Herring
Slippery Slope
Straw Man
Thought-Terminating Cliche
Types Of Influence
Useful Idiot
Weasel Words
Word Of Mouth
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